let's not create another new healthcare worker position!
fla anesthesia assistants gain ground in senate over nurses' objections
by mike salinero email@example.com http://tampatrib.com/floridametronews/mgah0yoqcxc.html
tallahassee - a senate committee on tuesday approved
published: feb 6, 2002
licensing anesthesia assistants to practice in florida under anesthesiologists' supervision.
currently, only anesthesiologists, who are doctors, and nurse anesthetists may provide anesthesiology.
anesthesiologists support the bill, saying there is a shortage of anesthesia providers in the state.
but nurse anesthetists deny the shortage. they say the bill is a move to replace them with lesser-trained and lower-paid anesthesia assistants. only registered nurses with a minimum number of clinical hours may enter a two-year anesthesia program. candidates for anesthesia assistant can enter that program with a four-year degree in any field.
``the licensing of anesthesia assistants is an experiment, and florida patients would be the test subjects,'' said bruce weiner, a tampa resident and president of the florida association of nurse anesthetists.
john mcdonough, a professor at florida international university, told the committee that he teaches nurse anesthetists and knows they are better trained.
but jerome modell, who recently retired as chairman of the anesthesiology department at the university of florida, said training for nurse anesthetists and anesthesia assistants is ``different but comparable.''
the sponsor of the bill, sen. debbie wasserman schultz, d-weston, confirmed she got a $1,000 campaign contribution from don sokolik, president of the state society of anesthesiologists. wasserman schultz said her vote was based on a ``deliberative'' study of the issue.
the bill is scheduled for three more committees before going to the senate floor. a companion house bill has cleared all committees and is ready for floor action.
reporter mike salinero can be reached at (850) 222-8382.
info for letter writing campaign:
key committees for healthcare
florida senate and house of representatives members of the key healthcare committees
from fla nurses assoc.:
health, aging, and long-term care
chairman: senator saunders
vice chairman: senator dawson
members: senators brown-waite, campbell, clary, cowin, klein, peaden, pruitt, silver and wasserman-schultz
appropriations subcommittee on health and human services
chairman: senator silver
members: senators mitchell, peaden, sanderson, and saunders
banking and insurance
chairman: senator latvala
vice chairman: senator holzendorf
members: senators campbell, carlton, clary, constantine, dawson, garcia, geller, king, posey, rossin, and wasserman schultz
senate health committee members links:
house of representatives
council for healthy communities
chair: nancy argenziano
vice chair: curtis richardson
committee members: allan bense, gus bilirakis, nancy detert, frank farkas, mike fasano, carole green, ken littlefield, evelyn lynn, sandra murman, ken gotlieb, sally heyman, cindy lerner, eleanor sobel
elder and long term care
chair: carole green
vice chair: mark weissman
committee members: jeff atwater, hugh gibson, joe negron, jerry paul, dave russell, david simmons, leslie waters, phillip brutus, suzanne kosmas, richard mackek
health and human services appropriations
chair: jerry maygarden
vice chair: frank farkas
committee members: holly benson, heather fiorentino, rene garcia, hugh gibson, carole green, ken littlefield, phillip brutus, nan rich, irving slosberg, eleanor sobel
chair: ken littlefield
vice chair: mike hogan
committee members: bob allen, ralph arza, holly benson, renier diaz de la portilla, manuel prieguez, susan bucher, joyce cusack, arthenia joyner, sara romeo, irving slosberg
chair: frank farkas
vice chair: eleanor sobel
committee members: jd alexander, heather fiorentino, mike haridopolis, gayle herrell, randy johnson, marco rubio, stacy ritter, gary siplin, roger wishner
house committee on health regulation:
Apr 18, '09
i have been considering and researching the differences between crna and aa for a while now, and finally decided on advancing toward the aa route.
i do not believe crna's will become a thing of the past, however i do believe that aa's will dramatically increase while crna's will maintain or begin to decrease.
the most common defense coming from crna's to prove aa's should not practice is that they are lesser trained, which from what i have seen is not the case:
crna training programs must include a minimum of 24 months in a master’s level program accredited by the coa. the training programs may be based at any college or university offering a master’s level degree. many nurse anesthetists do not possess a master’s degree as this was not required until 1998. nurse anesthetist programs do not require involvement of a medical school or academic physician faculty. community hospitals may serve as main clinical sites. a minimum of 450 hours of classroom/laboratory education, 800 hours of clinical anesthesia education, and administration of 450 anesthetics, including all types of surgery, must be achieved for the student to successfully complete the training program.
aa training programs must include a minimum of 24 months in a master’s level program accredited by the commission for the accreditation of allied health educational programs (caahep). the programs must be based at, or in collaboration with, a university that has a medical school and academic anesthesiologist physician faculty. main clinical sites must be academic medical centers. an average of 600 hours of classroom/laboratory education, 2600 hours of clinical anesthesia education, and more than 600 anesthetics administered, including all types of surgery, are required to successfully complete aa training.
upon completion of an accredited nurse anesthetist program, a student may become certified by passing the council for certification of nurse anesthetists certification exam. this examination is an adaptive computer examination consisting of 90-160 questions. forty hours of approved continuing education units (ceu) are required every two years in order to recertify. to be recertified, nurse anesthetists do not take an additional exam.
upon completion of an accredited aa program, a student may become certified by passing the nccaa examination, which is co-validated by the national board of medical examiners. this six-hour examination is administered in a classroom and consists of 200 questions. in order to re-certify, an aa must complete 40 hours of cme every two years. additionally, aas must take the continuing demonstration of qualification exam every six years. this exam follows the same format as the initial certification exam.
another point is that aa's are trained, taught and encouraged in a medical setting with anesthesiologists to work as a medical team and not independently.
i realize that bsn's usually have at least 1 year experience in a critical care setting before attending a crna program (just as aa's usually come from a very strong medical background), however while caring for sickly elders or working with babies in nicu is amazing and respectable work, i do not believe it should be a prerequisite or considered training directly towards administering anesthesia.
the main reason i am going the aa route is that it basically requires a pre-med bachelor degree. (regardless of what you hear about finger painting from crna's) aa schools require master levels in anatomy, biochemistry, physiology and pharmacology. this opens many doors in the medical field should i ever decide that being an aa is not for me.
i know this is an old thread, i just wanted to respond with my opinion and see if there are any more up to date facts on the difference, they both seem highly trained toward a specific job to me.
Last edit by Allizar on Apr 18, '09